Guest Post

70-year-old grandmother spends entire year cleaning local beaches, shows it's not too late

June 5th, 2019

Who says one person can’t make a difference?

Certainly not Pat Smith, whose journey to clean one beach a week through 2018 made headlines around the world.

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Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook Source: Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook

It all started on New Year’s Eve for the 70-year-old from Cornwall, England. She had watched an environmental documentary about plastic pollution and decided to get up the very next morning and start doing something about it all by herself.

“I started on January 1, 2018,” Smith told People Magazine. “I did one beach a week for the whole year, apart from a couple of occasions where I did two.”

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Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook Source: Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook

Talk about sticking to your New Year’s resolution!

Starting in her hometown of St. Austell, Smith began picking up trash whenever she could.

And she did the same thing when she traveled for vacation up and down along Cornwall’s 400-mile-long coast.

While she didn’t get to 52 separate beaches as she had originally planned, she did collect 13,000 pieces of litter over the course of 104 total hours of self-imposed community and environmental service.

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Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook Source: Final Straw Cornwall via Facebook

“It was just a case of trying to do them wherever and whenever I could,” she said. “It’s a case of once your eyes are opened to it, you can’t ever switch off.”

Source: People, Coastal Living

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